Bullying Resolution Services

Bullying Resolution Services

For the more serious and ongoing situations where your child is being repeatedly bullied or harassed, the response by the school has not been effective in resolving the situation!

About Bullying Resolution Services

Bullying Resolution Services is a new venture of Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D., director of Embrace Civility in the Digital Age.

On the 2017, Oregon Healthy Teen survey, 31% of 8th graders and 21% of 11th graders reported they had been repeatedly bullied in the 30 days prior to the survey. In Lane County, 34% of 8th graders reported being repeatedly bullied. These numbers have increased since 2015.

There are two ways I can help:

  • If your child has disabilities and is on an Individual Education Plan (IEP), the bullying of your child should have been fully addressed in an IEP meeting. You have the right to request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE), paid for by the school, if you disagree with an evaluation of your child. If you have reported this bullying, the school conducted an evaluation of the situation. If the bullying of your child was not addressed in an IEP meeting or if the school’s response to the bullying has not adequately corrected the situation, this provides the basis for you to be able to request for an IEE.
    • I can assist parents in making a request for an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE). This IEE, which I can then prepare, can provide the basis to more effectively address the bullying concerns in an IEP meeting.
  • For all other students, if you have reported bullying to the school and this has not resolved the problem, you can file a complaint with the district. This complaint can be appealed if you disagree with how the school intends to respond or if the bullying of your child continues. 
    • I can assist parents in filing a complaint with the district either as a bullying complaint or a bullying/discriminatory harassment complaint. I can then assist you during a meeting related to this complaint.

For Students with Disabilities

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services issued what is called a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), which directed that if a student with disabilities on an IEP is being bullied this must be addressed in an Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting. In 2014, the Office for Civil Rights issued a DCL where this requirement was extended to any student on a 504 Plan.

These DCLs indicated that if  bullying has created a hostile environment—that is, the conduct is sufficiently serious to interfere with or limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by a school—the school must take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end the bullying, eliminate the hostile environment, prevent it from recurring, and, as appropriate, remedy its effects.

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) parents of a student with a disability have a right to obtain an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) if they disagree with the results of an evaluation conducted by the school. The failure of an investigation in response to reports that a student is being bullied to effectively resolve the concerns should provide the basis for a request for an IEE paid for by the district.

Unfortunately, if your child is on a 504 Plan, there are no provisions that provide the ability to request the district pay for an evaluation. But the bullying of your child should be addressed in a 504 Plan meeting.

You can find out more by accessing these  documents:

Other Students

Any student who experiences bullying and the school’s response has not been effective, can file a complaint at the district level. If the response to this complaint does not adequately remedy the situation, this can be appealed to the school board and then to the Oregon Department of Education. 

Students who receive protection under civil rights laws–which includes those with minority sexual orientations or identities, race, national origin, religion that is grounded in national origin, as well as sexual harassment–can file both a complaint related to bullying, as well as a complaint for discriminatory harassment. If the response to this complaint does not adequately remedy the situation, this can be appealed to the school board and then to the Oregon Department of Education or the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

Unfortunately, there is no approach that can be followed to require that the district pay for the costs of resolution services or an evaluation. However, there is nothing to prevent you from requesting that the district pay for my services.

Commitment

My approach to resolution is comprehensive. I will seek to guide the school in implementing positive strategies that support all involved students, hold those who were hurtful accountable to remedy the harm and stop further hurtful acts, as well as correct aspects of the school’s environment to ensure  the school becomes more safe and welcoming for your child and others.

While I cannot guarantee positive results, I am committed to working passionately to address the concerns faced by your child. I will also provide guidance on how to proceed if initial efforts are not successful. 

Process to Proceed

To start, I would like to hold a short no-cost telephone conversation with you. It is my intent to do this pre-screening to determine whether your situation is at a point where my services will be of assistance to you. Please contact me at nwillard@embracecivility.org to arrange for this initial conversation.

A $200 retainer will then be necessary to proceed. For this amount, I will do an initial intake which will support the drafting of a request to obtain an IEE or a complaint for bullying or bullying/discriminatory harassment. 

As noted, the district should pay for the IEE. For other students, I can continue to provide services. We can discuss payment arrangements.

If money is a challenge for any parent, please contact me and we will work something out. I do NOT want any child or teen to continue to be bullied or harassed and lose his or her opportunity for a positive future just because the parent has financial challenges.

Parents will also receive a copy of my book, Support and Empower Your Bullied Child: A Guide for Parents.

My Expertise

The following documents set forth my expertise:

Services for Schools or Districts

Oregon school leaders can also request assistance in responding to chronic bullying and harassment situations through investigation, mediation, a restorative conference, or assisting in an IEP/504 meeting in a situation where a student with disabilities is being bullied or engaging in bullying.

I truly believe Oregon’s school leaders and staff do not want to see bullying and harassment occurring in school or online, want to respond effectively. and want all students to feel safe, happy, and successful in school.

But what educators have been told about bullying behavior is inaccurate and the way educators have been told to address these situations will generally be ineffective and in some cases is making things worse. More here.

Contact

Contact me at nwillard@embracecivility.org for more information.

 

 

 

 

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